Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

Frugal Fabric Softener: A Recipe

| October 29, 2008

Fabric softener sold in stores contain a long list of chemicals that are difficult to pronounce. This recipe provides the same results with food grade vinegar and some nice smelling essential oils. I often add a few drops of this recipe onto a rag to clean windows and the washing machine itself. Store bought fabric softeners can’t make that claim to fame!

The white vinegar in this blend is particularly frugal. You can substitute other vinegars, such as cider vinegar, but those are typicaly more costly. Occasionally, I like to use herbal vinegars, such as Four Thieves Vinegar as well. Often, I’ll use infuse the herbs in white vinegar rather than cider vinegar when I know it’ll be used in the laundry.

The cedar essential oil in this mix smells nice and is a good flea repellant. The tea tree and lavender essential oils add anti-bacterial power to your blend while providing a refreshing scent to your clothing.

Ingredients for making Frugal Fabric Softener

  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 15 drops cedar essential oil (Thuja)
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

Equipment for making and using Frugal Fabric Softener

  • 1 gallon, sealable jug for storing your Frugal Fabric Softener
  • pen and label to label your Frugal Fabric Softener

Procedure for Making Frugal Fabric Softener

  1. Pour 1 gallon of white vinegar into a resealable jug (or use the jug the vinegar came in).
  2. Add all the essential oils.
  3. Cap the jug and shake it well.
  4. Label your Frugal Fabric Softener.

Frugal Fabric Softener Use and Storage Tips

Use about 2 Tablespoons of Frugal Fabric Softener per load or fill your washing machine’s fabric softener cup as usual.

Store your vinegar in a tightly sealed container near your laundry machines.

Other essential oils to try:

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Category: Beauty and Personal Care, Household

About the Author ()

Candace Hunter has more than 10 years of experience in herbalism, homesteading, shamanism, magic, and energetic work and more than 20 in writing, editing, and publishing. She is co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. She likes to spend her time writing, creating fiber arts, selling herbal products, practicing taekwondo, teaching, and playing. Most especially playing. You can find her work at,, and

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